Teach Them to Fish!

My dad is a fisherman through and through, and as such, he taught me everything I know about fishing. I grew up learning to fish – he taught me to bait fish in a lake and to fly fish in a river. I can bait a hook and add weights to get just the right depth. I can tie a fly on my line while standing waist deep in a river in my waders. I know sometimes you need a little patience and sometimes you need the wisdom to just move on to the next spot.

 I have a LOT of memories of fishing with my dad. One weekend while in the country visiting my grandma and grandpa, Dad decided to get up early to fish. At 18, fishing wasn’t really a priority for me but spending time with my daddy was – so I woke up far earlier than I’d liked, ate a bowl of cereal, and headed out onto the still slightly cold lake to see how our luck would fare. A few hours later it was downright warm out there, the sun beating down on us – but we had a stringer full of crappie and a bit of a contest going! When we finally packed it up and headed back to my grandparent’s house, we had 10-12 fish between us. It was a great morning! We made it back to the house just before lunch and my grandma was ready for us. She had oil in the deep fryer and breading in a bowl, sliced potatoes sitting by to fry up too. Over that fresh fish lunch that I helped catch, I felt a deep sense of personal satisfaction. I had helped provide this meal and it was DELICIOUS in so many ways.

The satisfaction I felt that day didn’t come easily. It wouldn’t have been possible had I not been through those years of preparation – learning the ins and outs of fishing along the way.  I’m here to tell each of you – Directors, Gold Builders, Bronze Builders, every Rep – don’t hand your team some fish, TEACH them to fish.

Give your team the tools and knowledge to build their own skills, to learn how to run their business WITHOUT your constant supervision. This will free you up to help the next person while also allowing them to build and grow and develop their own sense of satisfaction at a job well done. Will it be easy? Probably not at first – there’s so much to learn! They have to figure out how to bait the hook, and how to gauge that perfect depth for an ITA sale. They have to learn how to tie a fly on when they’re waist deep in a meeting or event. They have to learn when to be patient with a prospect and when to just move on. There will be a learning curve; there’ll be some growing pains. But when they finally get the hang of it, when they finally get the knack – there will be no stopping them! You may even find yourself in a bit of a friendly competition! The sense of satisfaction you and your team will feel as you begin building a future together? PRICELESS.

-- Policies and Procedures Section 6.2 located in your Virtual Office in the Information Center (go to Resources, then Policies and Procedures).

~Amanda Restivo, Vice President, Compliance --